Tesco study shows Brits continuing cooking & baking boom into Xmas

The biggest scratch cooking and baking boom in decades, which came about as a result of this year’s first lockdown, is continuing into Christmas, according to Tesco.

The supermarket giant has seen soaring demand for traditional festive home cooking and baking favourites such as goose fat, turkey gravy, mincemeat and seasonal baking kits.

Interviewed as part of the Tesco Christmas Report 2020, 85% of 2,000 Brits revealed that they would be cooking at least part of their Christmas dinner from scratch. A third stated that Christmas, this year, had never seemed more important.

Favourite foods set to be cooked from scratch by home chefs this Christmas will be: potatoes (58%); roasted veg (54 per cent) and sauces (44%). However, only 28% said they would be making their own pigs in blankets.

Sales for seasonal cooking ingredients started rising in early November:
Goose fat – up 100% versus the same time last year
Mincemeat (for mince pies) – up by 80%
Puff and shortbread pastry – up by 90%
Bread Sauce mixes – up 70%
Whole cloves (for mulled wine) – up by more than 60%
Free From Seasonal Baking Kits – up 50%
Turkey gravy – up by more than 30%

Tesco Cooking Ingredients buyer Paul Curtis said, “This year has seen the biggest boom for scratch cooking and baking in living memory and as we move into the Christmas season, that trend shows no sign of abating.

“We’re already seeing high demand for typical ingredients used in baking seasonal treats and staples such as mince pies, gingerbread and biscuits for the festive feast as customers look to stagger their shopping time and avoid the Christmas squeeze.

“Judging by sales in the last few weeks and the continuing high demand we’ve seen for ingredients likes herbs and spices since the first lockdown started, many people will be putting their hearts into cooking up a feast this Christmas.”

The Christmas scratch cooking trend is also being noticed by British Pepper & Spice, the leading UK herbs and spices supplier, who are already seeing massive uplifts in demand in the following seasonal kitchen ingredients:

Cinnamon sticks – up 420%
Dried juniper berries – up 275%
Whole nutmeg – up by 75%

Rachael Bouch, Managing Director at British Pepper & Spice, said, “For many people Christmas 2020 will be more special than usual because of the challenging year it’s been and cooking is a great way of bringing the family together and having fun in the kitchen with your loved ones.

“We’ve already seen an exceptional demand for herbs and spices since the first lockdown started and judging by recent sales of seasonal ingredients, the scratch cooking boom is going to continue at this key time.”

According to Kantar data, the initial lockdown months of March until May saw half a billion more meals made from scratch at home compared with an average 12 week period in the last year.

While pubs and restaurants were closed, many people, having more time on their hands, brushed up on their cookery skills and began digging out recipes for meals.